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It is important to have a regular spiritual practice. Meditation is often a part of spiritual practice. Daily meditation strengthens your connection to Spirit, and to your higher Self. You come from Spirit and Spirit resides within you. I have a daily spiritual practice that includes prayer and meditation. Remember, praying is talking and meditation is listening.

There is so much available information about meditation that it can be very confusing. It was for me, even before information became so easily accessible. Many authors and teachers talk about meditation and often give tips, each one a little different. There are so many different methods. There is no right way or wrong way. It took me several years to develop a daily meditation practice. I tried many different methods, some were successful and some were not. I want to share a few of the things that helped me. 

Find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Set a timer for how many minutes you want to be still. Start with 1-2 minutes and build up your practice. Each week or so, increase the time to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and so on. There is not a specific time that works for everyone. Consistency is the key. Do it every day. A good goal is 20 to 40 minutes every day. It helps to meditate at the same time every day. First thing in the morning or just before sleep are the best times, but you can meditate any time of the day. 

We all have what I like to call the monkey mind. Our brain is always going. When we begin to get quiet, what is the first thing we hear? The monkey mind. Thoughts come into our minds and we go over our to do list, the schedule for the day, what we want to wear, where we want to go. Just about anything can pop up when we sit still and get quiet. The key is not to follow the trail of thoughts. Let the thoughts go by as if you are watching the drifting clouds as they fade away. If you find that you are following the thoughts, take a breath and reset your focus. The goal is the still, quiet space (stillness) within. 

Every day is different and some days it is difficult, if not impossible to quiet the mind and let the thoughts drift away. If this happens, just sit and breathe. Let the monkey mind chatter away. If for one second there is a space of quiet, you have been successful. Yay! With time this space of quiet will gradually increase. Don’t give up!

Some people find it helpful to play meditation music. It can be any music as long as it is relaxing and does not have words, which can be distracting. Guided meditations and guided visualizations are great too. There are many meditation apps available.

Sit comfortably with your back strait and feet flat on the floor. If you prefer, sit on the floor in the cross-legged position. Make sure your back is strait. Close your eyes and focus on the area between your eye brows, the third eye space. If you can, roll your eyes upward to gaze at the third eye space with your eyes closed. Sit quietly and breathe.

Put your hand on your belly and breathe into your hand. It does not matter which hand. Sometimes I put one hand on my heart space and one hand on my belly. Inhale fully and exhale completely. Breathe at a pace that is comfortable for you. Sometimes it helps to count the breaths. The number is not important, the focus is. Pause a moment between each inhale and exhale. What do you hear, feel, or sense in that pause? Let it be whatever comes to you. If nothing comes to you, let it be that. There is no wrong way.

Put your hand on your heart space. It does not matter which hand. Sometimes I put one hand on my heart space and one hand on my belly. Connect with your heart and breathe. The heart is the seat of the soul. As you breathe, see if you can pause for a moment at the end of your inhale and again at the end of your exhale. What do you hear, feel, or sense in the space between inhale and exhale? Let it be whatever comes to you even if it’s nothing. There is no wrong way.

Susan Duke